Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Leibnitz Incident」Part 2
That evening, as the sky reddened with the setting sun and people went about their business, Ariane and I were waiting in the room we had rented.
I was sitting in the corner of the room waiting for time to pass.
Ariane was laying on top of the bed playing with Ponta.
When Chiome finally entered the room, she locked the door before removing her large hat to reveal her cat ears and looked around.
When she finished looking, Chiome turned to Ariane and me and asked about the results of our intelligence gathering attempt.
“How did it go?”
Ariane and I exchanged a silent look at her question.
“We weren’t able to find any useful information. Ariane and I got entangled with a drunkard in the middle of our investigation.”
Chiome’s cat ears twitched when I shrugged my shoulders and answered her. Though her expression didn’t change, her ears give away her true feelings.
It’s just a guess but her ears fidgeting probably meant she was happy about something. Since my parents owned a cat I learned how to read their moods, thought it’d be easier to do if her tail was out.
The fact that she was so happy to hear about Ariane’s and my failure probably meant that she managed to acquire some useful information. Since Chiome was trying to rush our mission, any contribution she made could only raise her standings with us.
Ariane didn’t seem all that worried about Chiome’s behavior. However, I did notice that Ariane tightened her hold on Ponta and quietly petted her head……
“I managed to acquire a bit of information.”
After making eye-contact with Ariane, Chiome puffed out her chest as she began to speak.
“Ah, that’s wonderful.”
At my slightly exaggerated praise, the ears on top of Chiome’s head began to twitch as she turned towards me.
I would’ve liked to stroke her under her chin, but she was a cat girl not a cat. Judging from Ariane’s cold stare it’d be better for my health if I didn’t do that.
“Though I don’t know the exact number, people witnessed elves being brought into the feudal lord’s mansion about four months ago. However, three months ago the elves were seen being transported out of the mansion. Since I wasn’t able to sneak into the mansion, I don’t know if any are still being held in there.”
In short, elves had been brought here before, but it’s unknown if there were any left.
If the content of the sale contracts were accurate, five people should have been brought here. It was unclear how many of them had been sent away or how many were still imprisoned.
While thinking about all those things I turned toward Ariane for her opinion.
“If even a single of my brethren remain, we will rescue them.”
Ariane’s golden eyes were looking straight ahead as she resolutely announced her decision. I nodded at her expected answer before asking about our next step in our plan.
“When should we infiltrate the mansion then?”
“The quicker the better, right? How about tonight?”
When Ariane man held up a fist while declaring her intentions, Chiome quickly advised against the rash call to actions.
“Please wait. We still don’t know how many elves even remain in the mansion, we need to complete a full investigation. If we infiltrate now, we’d have to search the entire thing!!”
Ariane’s eyebrow raised at Chiome’s advice before asking her a difficult question.
“If we do as you say, wouldn’t the risk of our current location and agenda be revealed to those we’re working against?”
“…… Yes, that’s why I only want you to wait five days.”
It would be a tremendous task to gather the information we needed alone. For her to set a five-day limit just goes to show how confident she was in her own skills.
However, I still had one concern.
“Chiome we’re in the middle of the Hiruku religion’s territory, I doubt that we can stay hidden here for five days.”
Chiome’s ears drooped and she frowned when I voiced my concern.
The followers of the Hiruku religion had enough clout to build impressive churches throughout this country. Chiome was an expert in espionage, but Ariane and I stood out everywhere we went and it would be quite difficult to remain hidden for an extended amount of time.
To begin with, this wasn’t a proper hideout just an ordinary inn. We could forget about rescuing the people held in the castle if Ariane and I were reported by those blindly following that religion.
Chiome listened to our opinion with a worried expression before sighing and setting another date for the infiltration.
“Then let’s move the operation to tomorrow night. I heard that the third company is being dispatched from the nearby fort to Katsseck tomorrow morning. Because the fort is on a road adjacent to the castle, there will be less reinforcements to call upon if we’re discovered.”
Ariane seemed to have accepted Chiome’s reasoning and nodded in response.
With the information Chiome had gathered, we began making our preparations.
Ariane and I would be the ones in charge of the infiltration while Chiome would be stationed near the fort and offer support if we’re discovered.
The next day, Chiome went out to do a final preliminary investigation, and Ariane and I decided to stay in the inn to avoid the fallout from that drunken officer incident. He may have been drunk enough to forget about us, but it’s better to avoid unnecessary trouble.
That evening the weather had worsened, with low hanging, thick clouds covering the sky.
Normally, people trying to break into places would welcome bad weather since it blocked the moonlight, but 【Dimensional Step】 was supposed to play a major role in this infiltration and the effectiveness of the spell decreased along with visibility.
However, those were only my circumstances, since the darkness would be convenient for Chiome while she watched the fort.
As the veil of night blanketed the sky behind the gloomy clouds, Ariane and I left the inn to meet with Chiome to complete our preparations.
Even if I called it preparations, we only decided on a location to meet up with each other and went over the method of creating a disturbance at the fort if needed.
We parted with Chiome around midnight and made our way towards the Feudal lord’s castle from the southwestern road.
We wanted to avoid the fort in the west and the church in the northwest, so we traveled the scenic route, guided by the residential walls that were visible from the alleyways we traveled.
At the end of the main road, there was a moat surrounding the mansion and I could see the occasional guard walking around.
It was already starting to drizzle and the surrounding area was darkening even further. As I looked for a place to transfer to I found a section on top of the nearest wall that was barely visible thanks to a lit bonfire.
However, the transfer inside the wall would be considerably more difficult after that one. The darkness was probably thicker thanks to the wall’s shadow, limiting our possible transfer locations. At least we’d be able to make it back on top of the wall no matter how dark it became.
This first transfer in would be crucial.
When I looked back and asked her that question, Ariane placed her hand on my shoulder and nodded.
When I invoked the magic me, Ariane and Ponta, who was wrapped around my neck, were instantly transferred from the alleyway to the top of the wall.
Ariane surveyed the area as soon as we transferred locations. As a dark elf, she was gifted with night vision which was perfect for seeking out enemies. The guards on the wall usually carried a torch with them, so she was actually on lookout in case something unexpected happened.
I could barely make out the shadow of the opposing walls even when I squinted and was also having trouble finding a location to transfer to.
There was a large building near the western wall, in shape of a コ symbol, with a large garden in front of it.
The garden was the darkest area with the only light source being the occasional torch flicker from passing guards.
In order to rescue the imprisoned elves, we would need to sneak into the main building in the back. However, there were several guards standing within the light that was leaking from inside that building.
It was a considerable distance to cover from the top of this wall and the shrubbery prevented me from grasping the number of guards and their patterns.
It was impossible to go to the main building directly, so the most reliable plan would be to transfer to the wing close to the southern wall and then find a way into the main building.
While I was arranging my thoughts, Ariane suddenly tapped me on the shoulder.
When I glanced at her, she held up two fingers and repeatedly gestured to the left.
Two guards were approaching from our left. We couldn’t stay here any longer.
I nodded, then invoked the transfer magic again.
The scenery instantaneously changed from atop the wall to the back of the small south wing. Even though I said it was small, it was still larger than the houses of the general public.
The two story tall mansion had a mosaic pattern built into it through the use of differently colored bricks, and the lights that illuminated the building gave the place a certain charm.
We clung to the wall, next to a large rectangular window which we could see into. Magic tools were set at regular distances along the hallway that we could see into, and the light they produced allowed us to see that the hall’s floor was covered by red carpet.
While the furnishings were quite elegant there was no one in sight. There was also fewer guards here compared to the main building and it was so quiet I could hear the bugs chirping in a nearby bush.
While crouching beside the mansion, we moved to the edge of the south wing and took a peek at the main entrance and courtyard. Two guards were standing watch in front of the entrance, and several guards were patrolling the courtyard and multiple guards could be seen in the back of the main building.
As predicted, even though there were a few places we could hide in the courtyard, the encompassing darkness restricted our movements.
Since I couldn’t find a way to transfer into the main building unseen we’d have to transfer back to the top of the wall and search for another point of entry.
When I told Ariane she suggested that we search this wing of the mansion first.
“If we search an area where there aren’t many guards, isn’t it likely that we won’t find anything?”
I decided to give her my opinion of the matter.
“We currently don’t know how many people there are or where they are, isn’t it better to search the locations where we’re less likely to get caught first?”
She made a good point, this was a large mansion and it made sense to search where we were least likely to get discovered.
“Alright, lets search this place first.”
I peeked into one of the wing’s windows to confirm that no shadows were moving around and then used 【Dimensional Step】 to slip inside.
“I can barely detect anyone on the first floor…… something’s off.”
Ariane muttered as her ears twitched about while she listened for any movement in the area.
“I’d be convenient if no one was here. Let’s check this place out first, then the main building, and west wing last.”
I turned the knob of a nearby door and checked inside.
There was no light inside and what little seeped in from the entrance revealed a dusty room. The room hadn’t been this way for long since the dust was only lightly covering the furniture.
Normally dozens of servants would maintain a place like this, so this was something that couldn’t be ignored.
If the feudal lord’s economic situation wasn’t as good as it appeared to be, I suppose it is possible that he couldn’t afford to properly staff this place.
Ariane took a look inside the room before silently shaking her head.
Apparently, there was nothing of interest here.
We proceeded to search the rooms one by one with only the hallway lights as a guide. Before long we came to the corridor that connected to the main building.
There was only a set of double-doors at the end of the hallway that connected to the main building.
At Ariane’s beckoning, I invoked 【Dimensional Step】 to silently move in front of the doors. The doors made a slight creaking sound as Ariane gently opened them.
We found ourselves in a large ballroom.
There was an expensive chandelier hanging in the center of the dome-shaped ceiling. The polished stone floor was lined with elaborate pillars, that had windows located between each pillar that made the room seem like a solarium.
However, there was a lack of light in this ballroom due to the bad weather preventing the moonlight from passing through the windows.
As result of the lack of visibility, it seemed as if I was staring into an abyss.
When I turned toward the night vision possessing Ariane, I saw her unsteadily walking into the abyss as if something was drawing her in.
I called out to her in a low voice but she didn’t react at all. As I debated over whether or not to call out to her again, I finally noticed something.
There was something strange floating over her head.
It was a fifteen centimeters tall black creature that was difficult to distinguish from the surrounding darkness. The creature looked like a small dwarf with two horns on its head, small wings on it’s back, and a tail. When the creature noticed my gaze, it’s red eye popped open and it let out a strange cry.
No matter how you look at it the thing was unnatural, so I didn’t even hesitate to swat the devilish thing out of the sky.
After my chop knocked the strange devil to the ground the sound of something shattering was heard.
When the devil hit the floor Ariane snapped out of her stupor and looked around in confusion.
“Ariane-dono, are you alright?”
“Sorry, my mind just drifted for a moment……”
Ariane shook her head as she tried to make sense of what happened.
“Maybe that fellow is to blame?”
Her eyes widened when she looked down at where I pointed.
“An Imp!? What’s this thing doing here?”
At Ariane’s outburst, I decide to examine the thing on the floor. There were similar looking monsters called imps in the game, but they weren’t as small as this one.
Though now that I thought about it, if the game’s Imps were only fifteen centimeters tall, it would have been hard to target them.
“Imps possess a hypnotic ability, right?”
Ariane looked back down at the Imp before confirming the information about the monster from the game.
“Normally they only appear in dark caves densely packed with miasma……”
Ariane’s utterance reserved a reply from a someone in hiding deeper in the ballroom.
“It’s my pet. Yet you did something so inhuman to it……”
Ariane and I glance in the direction the voice originated from while drawing our weapons and preparing to fight.
A single man stepped out of the darkness.
It was a man I recognized. He was the drunkard who had tried to wrap himself around Ariane yesterday.
Turned out he was connected to the feudal lord.
The tall man with the dreadlocks and stubby beard started to smile as he looked the two of us over. He then squinted a little.
“Ho, you bastards…… you’re the ones I met in the city……”